Earthquake hits central Serbia
A moderate earthquake hit central Serbia on Wednesday, killing two people and injuring at least 50 others. The tremor had a magnitude of 5.3 and its epicentre was near the city of Kraljevo, some 150km (94 miles) south-west of the capital. All children, SOS mothers and staff in the SOS Children's Village Kraljevo are safe and unharmed. The Village Director says that the SOS mothers were exceptionally brave and prevented panic amongst the children.There was minor damage to some houses in the Village; but this has since been repaired. However, some of the homes of SOS staff have faired much worse. Psychological support is being provided to children and solutions are being sought to help the three staff members whose homes were destroyed.
Situation in Kraljevo
At present, the town of Kraljevo is left without a public health centre which was deemed unsafe and will most likely be demolished. All eight school and four nurseries in Kraljevo remain closed until Monday 8 November. The central nursery in which the food for all nurseries is prepared is heavily damaged which brings into question the daily preparation of 1,700 meals for pre-school children. The primary school in the vicinity of the Village is also severely damaged. Evaluation of properties is ongoing, while first shipments of help, mainly food and bottled water, began arriving from other parts of Serbia yesterday. Tap water remains unsafe for consuming.
Actions by SOS Children’s Villages
Following the assessment and amidst repairs of the damages in the Village, SOS Children’s Villages is looking how best to help people in the community. Mr Damir Coric, Deputy Regional Director, met with the Kraljevo Mayor today to discuss the set-up of an emergency programme which, most likely, will focus on reparation of nurseries and assistance to vulnerable families. Cooperation with other government and non-government organisations is also being considered. More detailed information on the emergency programme will follow.